Conference Committee Members Guidelines
Roles and responsibilities of Conference Committee Members
This document explains the scope and responsibilities of the conference committee. It is a draft containing some of the important activities and should be only used as a document providing general direction and guidance. The details of activities included in this list are subject to change as required.
- Conference Committee Members (CCM) are welcome to suggest appropriate sessions/tracks in tune with the conference topic and theme
- The Chair of the Committee will organize, schedule and delegate assignments to its members
- Take responsibility for the abstract peer review process and ensure adhering to conference schedule by beginning and closing all events at prescheduled times, avoiding delays
- Suggest high-profile speakers and promote the conference to potential authors and delegates
- Collate key ideas of the conference and assist the program chairs in making right decisions
- Identify potential sponsors and advertisement opportunities
- Provide suggestions to increase the scope of the conference
- Clearly define the goals of all committee members and make sure to highlight that everyone has a stake in the overall success of the conference
Program Committee Members Responsibilities
- Be familiar with your charge, conference theme and familiarize with other members of committee
- Take responsibility for distinct parts of abstract review and conference sessions
- Provide support to ensure that preparation and distribution of conference materials is done well in advance
- Organize specific conference sessions
- Serve as Session Chair as advised by Conference Chairs
- Guide the committee in proposing new activities and services that will further the organization’s goals and mission
- Provide administrative assistance to the Chair and facilitate communication between the Committee, Management and Attendees
Benefits for CCM & Program Committee Members
There are many benefits for the members of the conference committee and program committee.
- Being publicly recognized for your important role in the success of conference
- Being awarded with mementos and felicitated with certificate at the conference
- Having an opportunity to suggest sessions and tracks that align well with the event
- Propose new members to the committee
- Avail huge registration discounts for your organization members and groups suggested by you
- Opportunity to select best poster/speaker nominees for awards
- Members can give free advertisement in the conference book and can include inserts (provided by you) in conference giveaway bags
- Free logo of the institution/association that you represent will be depicted on conference banners, books and website
- Name, designation and photographs of members will be displayed in conference website
Members of the committee will be rotated off after two or three successive occasions if they are essentially inactive and reflect negligible involvement. This is primarily to support the interests of the organization to increase its efficiency and also to make space for new members to join the committee.
Guidelines for Chairing a Session
The following guidelines are for chairing sessions at Continuum Forums. These guidelines are provided to ensure that the conferences run smoothly. An attentive, well-prepared Session Chair and Co-chair help in ensuring high quality performance and trouble-free talks by speakers that would lead to appreciation of sessions by the audience.
In case a speaker has cancelled his presentation at the last minute, session chairs will have the liberty to present their own talk that aligns well with the subject, theme and sessions of the conference to maintain the continuity of the scheduled conference program. This could be an oral presentation which you have delivered previously but is still in tune with current research or you may even provide a video presentation or a short video clip depicting your company or institution’s role in the subject. The main reason behind this is to continue the intended schedule without causing any deviation to the proceedings.
Generally, when a speaker drops out of the program after it is scheduled and promoted, other attendees keen on listening to this particular speaker’s speech will feel rather disappointed. This causes a disruption in smooth running of the conference as the skipped over talk will have a cascading effect on presentations by other speakers. Having a talk planned ahead to be readily presented in such a scenario will help in smooth running of the conference and will gain you recognition for your efforts and expertise.
Remember that you are responsible for the process as a whole even if you allow the speakers to handle the questions on their own. Always be ready to intervene if anything goes wrong before, during and after the presentation. You will be also responsible for managing time and to ensure that all the presentations start and end as planned. To this end, you need to ensure that each speaker stays within the agreed-upon time limit. Chairing sessions at an academic conference is a thankless task and we appreciate you for agreeing to assume this high responsibility.
Prior to the session
Meet with the support staff from the Local Arrangement Committee prior to your session to review that all the lights and audio visual equipment is working fine and are in good position inside the sessions room for the speakers to present their work without any technical glitches. Also make sure that a laser pointer is readily available for the speakers to present and emphasize their work.
It is the chair’s responsibility to review the presenters' abstracts and have a quick glance at their biographies and be ready with at least two to three questions in case the audience discussion needs a catalyst. Ensure that you meet with all the speakers in your session at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the session. Take advantage of this time to make the much needed introductions and make all the members feel comfortable in addition to giving a quick round up of instructions. Introduce yourself to the presenters and obtain further information on their academic backgrounds and themes of their presentations. Further, ask how they would like themselves to be introduced, and confirm the pronunciation of names to ensure you don’t call out different names.
Remind the speakers again of their time limitations and ask them to check if all their devices like laptops and iPads and other gadgets are working fine. Ensure that the viewgraphs and microphone are also working as expected and see if the speakers need any assistance to ensure a reasonable comfort level.
Inform your speakers about how you will notify them when they are nearing the end of their allotted time for the presentation. Make sure that there is enough time for any relevant questions and answers. If, however, all time has expired for that speaker, it is acceptable to ask the audience to discuss issues with that speaker after the end of the session. It is the Session Chair’s responsibility to ensure that ALL speakers receive their allotted time and that the audience has opportunity for their questions and comments.
Conference Committee wants to promote audience feedback whenever the speakers are presenting products, directions or methodologies. It is, therefore, important to have these speakers honor at least a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes for Q&A session, comments or panel discussion.
Make a note of the actual start time of speakers as it will be difficult to know when to stop them if you do not know when they have started. Inform speakers about the exact starting and finishing time for their presentations and also remind them that the attendees are free to get up and move to another session after each talk. Allocate at least two or three minutes for this anticipated movement of people from one session to other. You can help facilitate a smooth change between speakers by asking the next speaker to begin moving toward the front and even switching laptops while the Q&A session unfolds.
When Your Session Begins
Make yourself acquainted with the environment and ensure that the lighting and audio visual systems are working well. If there are any problems, seek immediate assistance from a staff member of the Local Arrangements Committee. Ask the members if the presenters are clearly visible and if they can hear them clearly.
Inform the audience that the session is about to begin and, if needed, encourage the audience to settle into their seats and conclude their conversations. The audience will appreciate that fact that you are in charge and concerned about the quality of the sessions and the outcome of the conference.
Ask attendees to complete a Technical Presentation Evaluation Form for each talk during your session.
Introduce the speaker, give their affiliation and the title of their talk for each presentation. Explain how the talk of a particular speaker fits into the scheme of the session or conference.
During Each Presentation
As the chair of the session, it is your responsibility to assist your speakers if there are any problems during their presentation. If the presentation is not being displayed well due to technical glitches seek assistance from the staff of Local Arrangements Committee to adjust the equipment. If speakers cannot be heard or seen from the other end of the sessions’ room, you should politely try to correct the situation.
- You must keep track of elapsed time during a presentation:
- At 20 minutes of a 25-minute talk, indicate the speaker that they are nearing the end of their sessions through a gesture or by raising a card. Adjust as necessary for longer presentations.
- Q&A sessions: If time permits, the Session Chair should invite questions if the speaker does not do this.
- An excellent Session Chair will have at least one general question ready for each speaker in order to help get the discussion off the ground, should the audience be reticent.
- When questions are asked, make every effort to get a microphone to the questioner (more important for the large general sessions than for the parallel sessions). If this is not possible, remind the speaker to repeat the questions, or repeat the question yourself if you are in a better position to hear the question. Use your own judgment regarding the need for this depending on room acoustics.
- As the allotted time for the speaker’s talk ends, initiate applause for the speaker.
At the End of the Session
When the last speaker’s presentation and the Q&A sessions have concluded, thank the audience for attending and for their support in running the session smoothly and state that the session is now completed. Remind attendees to go to the online evaluation system shortly before leaving the conference and complete their evaluations. The link is listed in the program and the pocket schedule. Your duties as Session Chair are thus completed.
Oral Presentation Guidelines
Your cooperation is appreciated in keeping the meeting on schedule for the benefit of all attendees, so please note the following guidelines:
Types of Oral Presentations
Presentation Type Total Allotted Time
Plenary Talk 40 min Followed by Q&A Session
Keynote Talk 30 min Followed by Q&A Session
Invited Talk 25 min Followed by Q&A Session
Featured Talk 20 min Followed by Q&A Session
*Note: Please be informed that the organizers reserve the right to adjust the duration of the presentations/talks to accommodate the overall conference agenda.
The official language of all the presentations including oral, poster, speaker or video presentations is English and all the relevant submissions should be made in English.
Preparation Before the Presentation
Speakers should bring their USB device to the Speaker check-in area at least 2 hours before the commencement of their talk as the technical team will pre-load the presentation to the networked system
Speakers can also use their own devices and/or gadgets for their presentations
Kindly ensure that the laptop you are using for presentation is loaded with Windows 7/10; MSOffice 2007/10 Pro English (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) and Adobe Reader.
Microphones, laser pointers and LCD projectors are provided at the conference
Speakers who have not submitted the details of their presentation to the organizing staff or session chair should be ready with their devices in the session room at least 15 minutes before the start of the session.
Recording and Photo Policy
For promotional purposes, there may be a photographer and video recording for dissemination on the website and other mediums. Presenters who do not wish to be filmed should inform the session chair prior to the beginning of their session or to the organizers present at the registration desk.
Posters are a key component of communicating your research and an important element in a successful scientific career. Participants may consider presenting posters to showcase their work to a larger audience base and to have more time. Here are the guidelines for presenting posters:
Posters should be no larger than A0 (84 cm wide by 119 cm long) in portrait/landscape format.
Check-in at the poster desk THE DAY of your presentation. The presenter must be an author of the poster and a registered attendee.
A reasonable supply of pushpins will be provided but we suggest the presenters to bring their own if possible.
Ensure that the poster has large text which is clearly visible from a distance of 4 to 5 feet or even more. All the content of the poster including any graphs, pictures and data should be presented in a logical and sequential manner to be clear to the visitors.
Best Poster Awards
At the end of the conference sessions, prizes will be awarded for 3 best posters by students and the following criteria apply:
• The work depicted in the poster must be predominately that of the student
• The poster must be prepared and presented by the student
• The student must register for the conference (as student registration)
• The prize consists of a certificate and US$200, and will be paid after the conference by cheque or bank transfer.
Workshop presentations are interactive skills-based discussions that last 90-120 minutes. Workshops must be interactive, and include practical information that participants can bring back to their communities.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.
Amsterdam has always drawn a big influx of new inhabitants. Not only from native Dutch, whomoved there to study or work, but also internationally. According to the city administration, there's no city in the world that has more foreign inhabitants (175 of 194 countries world-wide are represented) than Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the 4th busiest airport in Europe. As the economy becomes more global, ever more Dutch companies are moving their headquarters to Amsterdam. Especially around its 'South Axis', huge office buildings have shot up.
Please note that Continuum Forums will not be able to arrange visas for participants. It is the delegate's responsibility to investigate the visa requirements for the host country and to apply for a visa, if necessary. If you are likely to need a visa, we recommend that you make your application as soon as possible to avoid any delay in obtaining the visa as it takes some time for processing. To help you, Continuum Forums will help you in the visa process by issuing a letter which confirms that you have registered to participate in the conference once you have made the payment to attend the conference. Please complete the visa information form for us to issue the letter.
Delegates who require an entry visa for Amsterdam Area must allow sufficient time for the application procedure. Delegates should contact the nearest embassy, consulate or representing consular Amsterdam office to determine the appropriate timing of their visa applications.
Participants attending conferences hosted in the Amsterdam Area are required to have a valid visa either upon arrival or in transit. This depends on your nationality. Visas must be applied for from the relevant embassy, consulate or representing consular Amsterdam office in the delegate’s country of residence. The nationality of the participants and delegates will determine whether or not they are required to apply for a visa. Participants are requested to visit the official website for more information.
It takes around one month for the Embassy to process the visa application. Please register as early as possible to make sure you have enough time for the visa.
1. Do I have to present a talk or poster at the conference to attend?
No. We welcome attendance by all scholars, regardless of their participation in conference sessions. However, registration is mandatory for delegates.
2. Are there limits on how many sessions I can participate in?
Yes. Participants may present no more than two papers at the conference and then chair or discuss an additional third session.
3. Where do I go to register for the conference?
Once the registration for conferences is open, you may register for the conference via our online Registration page. All conference participants must register by a certain date (refer to the dates in respective conference page), or their presentation information will not appear in the printed conference program.
4. Can I get a discount for registering early?
Yes. We offer an Early-Bird discount on all registration levels to those who register for the conference by a certain date. More information about registration rates for the conferences is available at the Registration page.
5. What does my registration fee include?
You will receive a name badge and program when you arrive on site. With this name badge, you have access to attend all plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, tea/coffee breaks and an evening reception.
6. What are the charges for an accompanying person?
All accompanying persons must complete applicable registration. Please read the registration information before you complete the Registration Form.
7. Is there any exempt for members of affiliated institutions and societies from paying the individual registration fee?
No. All conference attendees must formally register for the conference. This includes members of associations and faculty associated with supporting institutions. However, there will be a discounted fee for such members the details of which are available at Registration Policy page.
8. I will not be presenting any work at the conference. May I attend the event without registering?
We welcome participants who are not presenting work, but registration is required. You can register on-site, or you can register in advance at the early bird registration rate.
9. I just want to attend my colleague’s session. May I register for a single day at a reduced rate?
No, unfortunately single-day registration is not permitted for our conferences. To encourage sufficient audience attendance for all presentations and foster a genuine interdisciplinary intellectual community, we insist that all attendees register for the entire conference.
10. Is there a word limit for papers submitted at the conference?
While there is no particular word limit for papers, all presenters should be prepared to speak for about 10-15 minutes. This number is a rough guideline and presenters should make sure to confirm this with their Session’s Chair who will have the final say on the timing of presentations.
11. How and where do I upload my paper?
Paper upload information will be made available closer to the conference and the same will be informed to the participants well in advance to the commencement of the conference.
12. Will there be A/V equipment at the conference venue, and what do I need to bring in order to use it?
A/V equipment will be available in all session rooms. Session organizers are strongly encouraged to collect all presentations on a USB flash drive before the conference and then to arrive early to pre-load these files and test equipment controls. This will help prevent technological delays during the session. Remember to bring your own laptop and connector as well as your presentation on a flash drive.
13. I am no longer able to attend the conference. What should I do?
E-mail us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know of your withdrawal from the conference as soon as you know you won’t be able to attend. If applicable, also drop your session organizer or the conference secretary a note to let them know so they have time to find a replacement.
14. How long should my presentation be?
Presentations run between 10-15 minutes long depending on the number of panelists.
15. What is your policy on canceling my registration?
Please see the Cancellation Policy description on this page.
16. How do I register for the conference?
You can register for the conference by visiting our conference website. There, you can complete the online form to complete your registration. Payments should be made by PayPal, accepted Credit Cards as well as checks. Please go through the Registration Policy page for information regarding registration payments.
17. Can I cancel my registration?
Yes. To cancel your registration, please mail to email@example.com However, please note that Cancellation Policy will apply for such cancellations.
18. Can I see what sessions will be presented before I arrive at the venue?
Yes. The program for the conference is posted online as soon as it is finalized.